Skip to content

Top 5: Epiphone Les Paul Upgrades

In our previous “Top 5” article, we covered upgrades for a Gibson Les Paul. Although it shares many similarities to the Gibson and thus similar upgrades, the Epiphone requires slightly different parts of the same nature to work properly.

Here are out Top 5 Epiphone Les Paul upgrades….

A Change of Machine Heads

For this list, we are going to work from the headstock down, starting with the machine heads. Although the stock tuners are not bad, they aren’t great. They are usually Grover 102 or vintage-style copies.

You can go locking or non-locking for these, as either will be an improvement. Genuine Grovers are expensive but function well and look the part. The SD90, standard or locking (-MGT) are an affordable and reliable replacement.

The String Butler

The Epiphone Les Paul has the same fault as any other 3 by 3 headstock: the string angle out of the back of the nut. The posts are offset from the nut slot, causing the string to pass out the back of the nut at an angle. This results in the string snagging/binding of the string, and subsequent tuning issues, especially with heavy bending.

The “STRING BUTLER” takes the strings out of the back of the nut in a straight line and guides them over a set of wheels, before going onto the machine head posts.

You can read more about the String Butler HERE

A Brass Nut

A lot of the current models of Epiphone Les Pauls ship with Graphtech NuBone nuts, which are in no way bad. However, the sound of brass works great with the heavier tone of a Les Paul, and is well worth the work fitting.

We think simple is best at the guitar nut, so we recommend the Allparts Brass Nut for Les Paul.

String Savers

Again, the stock bridge is not a problem. It may be cheap but it works. However, like any ABR-1 or Nashville tune-o-matic, they can suffer with sharp edges if not setup correctly. The Graphtech String Savers really work well, and they have a model that’s specifically for Epiphone guitars.

If you fancy changing the bridge anyway, have a read of our Top 5 Tune-O-Matic Bridges. Epiphone les Pauls can have different post sizes depending on the model. They can often be the bigger M8 size and a 72mm spacing like the Nashville.

Switch the Switch

Epiphone have to cut costs somewhere in order to offer such an affordable Les Paul, and the electronics are not exempt from these measures. Pots and Switches will degrade over time and the first to go is almost always the switch.

Switchcraft are an industry standard and are built to last. Their 3-way toggle switch, although relatively expensive compared to the competition and other electronic components on the guitar, will see you through.

The Short version should work for most Les Pauls but you may need the right-angled version. Best to check.

Related Posts

Old Guitar Tuning Keys, Needing to be Replaced
July 01, 2023
Top 5: Guitar Tuning Keys

Looking to replace your old guitar tuning keys? Considering upgrading them to something better? The options are endless when it...

Read More
January 31, 2023
The Return of the Badass Bass Bridge

The Leo Quan Badass Bridge is back! ...

Read More
Drawer Title

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Similar Products